Cong strategy: Swamy does not exist – Ravi Shanker Kapoor

The conspicuous feature of the Congress rally on Sunday in the national Capital was that the prominent leaders of the grand old party did not even mention the names of Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy and India Against Corruption chief Arvind Kejriwal. This is despite the fact that these two have been incessantly accusing the ruling party grandees and their relatives of gross venality.

If Kejriwal performed the sacrilegious act of attacking the holy shrine of the GOP by talking about the undue favors that Robert Vadra got, Swamy went a step further and assailed the very sanctum sanctorum of the Establishment―Sonia Gandhi and her son and heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi. Unsurprisingly, the Congress was rendered speechless by the allegations hurled at its presiding deities. For some time, it could not even react; then, it could not do more than abuse Swamy and accuse him of indulging in character assassination. This gave way to vague threats of filing a defamation suit against Swamy. Evidently, sane counsel prevailed and dissuaded the Gandhis from doing that, for taking on Swamy in a court of law is like contesting against Arjun in an archery competition. A case against Swamy, especially when facts are with him, would have been suicidal.

So, finally, the Congress has reached a decision: the party would brazen it out. Instead of suing Swamy, it said that if the Gandhis had done anything wrong, he should take them to court (which, he pledged, he would). Beyond that, it said or did nothing; for the Congress, the issue has ceased to exist, just like Swamy himself.

The rally in New Delhi must be seen against this backdrop. No mention of Swamy and Kejriwal. No talk about the charges they and others have hurled at the important ministers and leaders. Just a deluge of words, a stream of rhetoric; the nation was subjected to a torrent of bravado, sanctimoniousness, twaddle, and mendacity.

So, Sonia Gandhi promised to give “a fitting reply” to those who question her and her party’s integrity. “I admit, corruption is a cancer… is a disease… But we have fought this disease before and we will continue to fight this disease with all strength once again.”

Well, well, Mrs. Gandhi, when did you fight corruption? Every journalist covering telecom knew when the 2G spectrum allocation scam was being carried out. For years, there were more than murmurs about a scandal of astronomical magnitude and you did nothing; it was only when the apex court, on the prodding of Swamy, intervened that anything moved. Ditto with the Commonwealth Games and coal allocation swindles.

She also voiced the favorite Congress line of argumentation―others are also guilty. Without mentioning the name of Bharatiya Janata Paryt president Nitin Gadkari, whose Purti Group has been accused of financial irregularities, she said, “Those who are talking about corruption are finding themselves neck-deep in corruption.” As if two wrongs make a right.

Then there was Prime Minister Mammohan Singh, who has recently rediscovered the virtues of economic reforms. He said that the decisions to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) and hiking diesel prices would help reforms which, in turn, “will help the country to progress and earn more money to launch welfare schemes to help the poor people.”

How costlier diesel will help the poor only he can explain. The clubbing of an inflationary move with a good decision, FDI in retail, and attracting flak on both counts, is also questionable.

After eight years at the helm of affairs and after doing everything to jeopardize the reforms he himself had implemented, his new-found love for liberalization appears incongruent, even funny.

The funniest speech, however, was made by… well, no prizes for guessing, the crown prince himself. Rahul said, “I have come to realize that the biggest problem that we face today is that the system, more so the political system, is closed for the Aam Aadmi. It keeps on hitting and putting stumbling blocks against Aam Aadmi. The Congress will take the onus of changing that system and opening it up for the Aam Aadmi.”

But before that, the Congress has to bear the onus of blame for having created such a system in the first place. Obviously, the Congress will not do this. Worse, the party under his mother aspires to bring back the dark ages of socialism that former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao bade adieu to. Which also means that the ruling party actually wants to perpetuate the “political system” that Rahul claims to hate so much.

Obviously, Rahul and Sonia just want to do doll up the system and make it appear presentable. They believe that their entitlement schemes, meretricious slogans, and endless drivel will help cover up the fundamental inadequacies of the political economy. They overlook the rot in the system; and they want us to do the same.

In the same fashion, as they have started ignoring Swamy. If you can’t fight them, ignore them and pretend that they don’t exist. On the face of it, this ostrich-like strategy may appear to be fraught with danger. In reality, it may not be so, for the Dynasty exercises control over vast sections of the media and academia; it has poodle intellectuals who express views which, directly or indirectly, support the GOP’s views. It also has the power and influence to black out anti-establishment opinion from public discourse.

The Dynasty and the evil empire it has spawned may be down, but they are not out.

One comment

  1. “taking on Swamy in a court of law is like contesting against Arjun in an archery competition.”
    I agree with most of what you said,except the above quoted lines.Are you saying that Swamy has not lost any case.From how much I know,he has won only one politics related case that is the Ram Setu one.

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